Author Notes: It was one of those obnoxiously gorgeous Mediterranean summer days in Barcelona when I parked myself at a tapas bar for a snack and a little people-watching. To supplement a couple of my favorites (patatas bravas and a plate of jamón ibérico), I ordered espinacas con garbanzos-- spinach with garbanzos-- a classic and ubiquitous Catalonian dish that is remarkably simple and delicious.
It can range from slightly soupy to almost sauce-less; this version is somewhere in between. I like just a hint of the smoked Spanish paprika to come through, so I use just a 1/4 teaspoon of it, but if you really like it, use more. While this dish works well as a side dish, I will sometimes toss it with pasta to make a meal of it. I make this whenever I want to transport myself back to Spain but am short an airline ticket. —vvvanessa
Serves: 6-8 as a side dish
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (preferably Spanish) plus extra for garnish
cup thinly sliced white or yellow onion
pound fresh spinach, cleaned, dried, and roughly chopped
cup plain tomato sauce
cups cooked garbanzo beans (one 15 1/2-ounce can drained)
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce)
lemon wedges for garnish
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and onion in a large saucepan over medium-high. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.
- Carefully add in the spinach (the oil might splatter) and continue to sauté until the leaves begin to wilt.
- Add in the garbanzos and continue to cook until the liquid from the spinach evaporates and the beans are heated through. Take care not to scorch the ingredients, turning down the heat as necessary.
- Slowly pour in the tomato sauce, and stir in the salt and paprika until all the ingredients are heated through.
- Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a wedge of lemon to garnish.